Monster's Unleashed #5

(Marvel Comics)

 

Monsters are falling from the sky and everyone from the Avengers to the X-Men are in joining the fight to save humanity.

 

Creators: Cullen Bunn, Adam Kubert, David Curiel, Michael Garland, Travis Lanham

Genre: Superhero

Reader Appeal: Teens

Publisher Rating: T+

 

I usually shy away from the typical “superhero v. monster” comic series, but I this month I decided to break from the norm. I picked up an issue of Monsters Unleashed after seeing the promotional video featuring Skillet’s song, “Back From the Dead.” After flipping through a few pages, I became pretty excited to kick off a new chapter in my life, one that includes superheroes and monsters…

 

…But I think this comic was an overambitious place to start. The sheer number of characters in a single issue was overwhelming. I’m not saying the comic wasn’t good, but I am saying Monsters Unleashed might be better suited for those who have a stronger base knowledge of Marvel superheroes.

 

Originally released in 1973 as a campy horror comic, Marvel’s brought back Monsters Unleashed for a second volume as a showcase for all their heroes. With giant monsters conquering earth, the superheroes must band together to save the world. Issue #5 picks up the story right after the Mother Leviathon has overpowered the other heroes, leaving Kei Kawade, and his drawing abilities, as humanity’s last hope.

 

In fact, I think the shining star of this comic is Kei. I love that in a series involving so many well-known superheroes, the fate of the world rests in the hands of a seemingly unlikely choice. It’s a great reminder that we can overcome seemingly impossible situations and that everybody has something to contribute!

 

Stylistically speaking, I like that most of the panels aren’t organized on a standard grid. They’re different sizes and overlap one another, really moving the reader along with the fast-paced action. I also appreciated the clear identification of each Marvel character. It helped me organize characters in my mind.

 

My biggest complaint with this series is that it felt like the plot was compromised because it was less of a priority than cramming in a ton of characters. Most heroes were kicked to the curb within the span of one or two panels. Now multiple that by 15 or 20 and you have a lot of space wasted on not really moving the plot line forward.

 

Parents--if your kid’s a huge Marvel superhero fan, this is the perfect comic. From what I see, the reason it’s advised for teens is due to the typical superhero/villain violence, but language and adult content seems appropriate for all ages.

 

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this comic book:

 

• If the world was depending on you to draw a monster strong enough to defeat the Mother Leviathon, what characteristics would you give it?

• If you could team up with any Marvel superhero, who would you pick?

• Kei used his drawing abilities to defeat the Mother Leviathon. What skill do you have that you could use to make the world a better place?

--LV

 

All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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